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Sophie Moss

Sophie Moss, aged 23, is a PhD student and here she tells how her time in Wildlife Watch helped to shape her interest in the natural world.

I got involved in my local wildlife watch group in about 1999, when I was 7 years old. There was a poster attached to the fence of the local park advertising Worm Charming… after that I attended pretty much every month until the main organiser left when I was 13. I had been interested in wildlife before joining, but as a member my interests increased, partially in how humans affect wildlife. When I was 14 this interest took a small step towards marine and coastal wildlife, after a trip whale watching and paddling in a bay with a seal swimming a few meters away, I have not looked back since.

University


When I was 19 I started an undergraduate degree at Portsmouth University studying Marine Environmental Science, and on completion immediately started a Masters Degree in Coastal and Marine Resource Management, which was completed in September 2015; the same month I began a PhD in living with coastal erosion at Southampton University.  So far my degrees have taken me to amazing places, and taught me valuable life skills. I am now into my 5th year at university, with 2-3 years left, and I have loved every moment of it.

It was my interest, sparked by Wildlife Watch, in human effects on wildlife and the environment that led me to my first degree and from there I began to be interested in ways we can protect the environment from the actions of people. With my PhD this has been turned around and I am now looking at the way that the environment, namely the sea, effects humans. I’m now studying the effects of protecting the environment can affect people!


Looking back

My time at Wildlife Watch taught me a lot of things, it has not only shaped my research interest by it has also shaped how I live my life, and still get great enjoyment in seeing the creatures that live alongside us, either in the sea where I have based my interest of study, the cities and towns where I have lived, and the countryside where I try and spend as much as my free time as possible. Even though it has been 10 years since I last attended a wildlife watch meeting, I still remember them fondly, and the evidence of them still exists in the town, we helped rebuild the local wildlife trust site, and plants still grow in areas where we originally planted bulbs.


Sophie Moss


Read more stories from ex-Wildlife Watch members here!